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NSW wage freeze war to continue

  • June 03 2020
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Earn

NSW wage freeze war to continue

By Grace Ormsby
June 03 2020

NSW public sector workers will see their case to maintain a yearly 2.5 per cent wage increase taken to the Industrial Relations Commission after the upper house blocked the government from wielding such power.

NSW Parliament House

NSW wage freeze war to continue

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  • June 03 2020
  • Share

NSW public sector workers will see their case to maintain a yearly 2.5 per cent wage increase taken to the Industrial Relations Commission after the upper house blocked the government from wielding such power.

NSW Parliament House

Calling it a “sad day”, state treasurer Dominic Perrottet said Labor and the cross-bench had shown “little regard” for the “thousands lining up outside Centrelink and approaching charities for food hampers because they can no longer afford to put food on the table”.

More than 400,000 workers would be affected by the pay freeze — those under around 70 public sector awards — including frontline nurses, paramedics, police officers and public transport workers who have played a key role as “essential workers” through the pandemic.

“At a time when there are hundreds of thousands of people out of work, the creation of new jobs must be our top priority, not giving those with job security a pay rise,” Treasurer Perrottet said.

The voting down of the freeze followed the offer of a $1,000 bonus to frontline workers and a 12-month job guarantee.

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Shadow treasurer Walt Secord called the government’s move a “bit of a Sophie’s choice” in parliament.

Highlighting how the government had offered affected workers a $1,000 payment if they approved the wage freeze, Mr Secord said that when that negotiation failed, “she threatens them — and she says, ‘If you don’t take that $1,000 and you don’t take the pay cut, we’ll sack you’.

“But this is about priorities.

“She should be stimulating the economy, [and] getting cash flowing.”

According to Mr Perrottet, “this hasn’t been an easy decision, but it is fair and it’s the right decision right now”.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian had previously said that “the only way NSW will come out of this crisis in a strong position is if we all make sacrifices, and that’s what we’re asking our own workforce to do because we are all in this together”.

Celebrating the “big win” after moving to disallow the wage freeze, leader of the opposition Jodi McKay said in a tweet that “the wage cut for more than 400,000 workers has been rejected by parties across the spectrum, representing left, right, city and country”.

“For the Berejiklian government to press on would be in defiance of the NSW Parliament and all accepted economic wisdom,” she stated.

“When workers earn more money, they spend more money.”

NSW wage freeze war to continue
NSW Parliament House
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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